Cover image for Elementary number theory in nine chapters
Elementary number theory in nine chapters
Tattersall, James J. (James Joseph), 1941-
Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
viii, 407 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
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QA241 .T35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This book is intended to serve as a one-semester introductory course in number theory. Throughout the book a historical perspective has been adopted and emphasis is given to some of the subject's applied aspects; in particular the field of cryptography is highlighted. At the heart of the book are the major number theoretic accomplishments of Euclid, Fermat, Gauss, Legendre, and Euler, and to fully illustrate the properties of numbers and concepts developed in the text, a wealth of exercises have been included. It is assumed that the reader will have 'pencil in hand' and ready access to a calculator or computer. For students new to number theory, whatever their background, this is a stimulating and entertaining introduction to the subject.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Number theory is a subject of endless fascination and frustration. Many central problems are easily stated in terms of basic arithmetic, but the methods of solution, when they are known, may require great sophistication. Tattersall's advanced undergraduate work presents many key ideas of number theory in a survey aimed at future secondary school teachers, and the level is appropriate for that purpose. A prominent feature is a remarkably large number of "historical vignettes ... included to humanize the mathematics involved" but without the intent of turning the book into a history of number theory. Often the vignettes stray into more speculative human interest stories, and probably make for better classroom entertainment than contributions to a sense of historical development. More tellingly, their close incorporation into the exposition makes it more difficult for the reader to follow the development of the mathematics itself. The strength of the book is the number, variety, and quality of the exercises, where the historical connections do give the student a sense of working on problems of substance. An appropriate addition to a number theory collection. Undergraduates. J. Feroe; Vassar College

Table of Contents

1 The intriguing natural numbers
2 Divisibility
3 Prime numbers
4 Perfect and amicable numbers
5 Modular arithmetic
6 Congruences of higher degree
7 Cryptography
8 Representations
9 Partitions
Answers to selected exercises